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  5. "Il cavallo è un animale util…

"Il cavallo è un animale utile."

Translation:The horse is a useful animal.

January 14, 2013



The horse is a useful animal or The horse is an useful animal? Which is the correct answer?


The horse is a useful animal


"An" is used if the next word starts with a vowel sound. For example, you'd say "an hour" and "a house". "Useful" begins with a Y sound so "a" is correct.


And isn't Y a vowel sound?


It's both a consonant and vowel sound depending on the context.

"Y" where it represents vowel sounds - "Dry" "Myth" "Pretty"

"Y" where it represents consonant sounds - "Canyon" "Yams"

"Payd" "Boi" "Mith" "Simbol" "Dinamyte" - You can probably figure out what these words are. Whereas you can't seem to do that with consonant Y words.


The word "useful" starts with the consonant /j/, not a vowel. Therefore the article before it should be an "a" but not "an"


It's also referred to a "y" sound, as in the word young, and the y sound is being treated as a consonant sound, not a vowel sound.


But... I can't hear a "j" at the beggining xD


Sorry for giving an unclear response. The /j/ I referred to is a symbol used in international phonetic alphabet which represents the initial sound for words such as "you", "use" and "yes". The sound /j/ is an consonant so the article before it is an "a" instead of an "an". Such kinds of apparently misleading symbols can also be found in words such as "one" which actually starts with a consonant /w/.


L'uomo non e un animale utile :)


gli animali utili, le mele utili - Is this correct (that utile will be utili for plural nouns no matter the gender of the noun)


Why is helpful animal wrong? Helpful appears as a translation of utile in the hover list


(American English speaker) I find this to be a profound question. "Helpful" implies intent, for instance, you are a helpful person by nature, you want to help. "Useful" implies a thing to be used, as a car is useful for moving around.


Tutti gli animali sono utili, Duo! Anche i gufetti.


I don't understand something. When does the adjective come in the end, and when doesn't it? Like, is "Il cavallo è un utile animale" correct?


It should say "the horse is AN useful animal" not "a" because "an" os always used when the next word starts with a vowel.


Incorrect. Usage of a/an is sound driven not spelling driven. 'Use' starts with a liquid /j/ which is not classified as a vowel. I suggest you to read through all the comments. I have already explained this earlier in this thread.

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